On the 2nd of June, sex workers and their allies rallied in Ward 6, home of DC Councilmember Charles Allen. Allen will decide the fate of a bill introduced by Councilmember David Grosso to decriminalize sex work in DC. The closure of sites like Backpage.com in the wake of the SESTA/FOSTA bills has created a crisis, with many sex workers becoming homeless as there is less money to be made working the streets as well as much greater risk.
At least two of the speakers ripped into the SESTA/FOSTA bills and the closure of backpage.com by the US government. Whatever may have gone on with that site and human traffickers, the reality was that millions of consensual sex workers who work for themselves relied on the site as the safest way to reach their clients and now are being forced back to the streets. One of the speakers from No Justice No Pride said her organization has been forced into an emergency response mode, finding housing and jobs for transgender folks who have lost their only source of survival income and been evicted due to the Backpage shutdown.